Industry expects electronics recovery to persist in 2nd half

ELECTRONICS exporters expect sales to continue their recovery in the second half of the year, an industry official said.

“The month-on-month growth of orders [will] continue, as there’s a lot of inventory correction going on,” Arthur Young Jr., Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc. (SEIPI) chairman told reporters in a chance interview on Thursday.

In June, SEIPI had said the sector already “hit the bottom” in the first quarter of this year, and is already posting month-on-month growth beginning January following a slump in the later part of 2008.

On Tuesday, the National Statistics Office reported that the country’s electronics exports in June—which accounted for 57.1 percent of the total export revenue that month—went up 7.6 percent to $1.948 billion from $1.811 billion in May.

Young said they expect semiconductors and electronics exports in the third quarter of this year to be better than the previous quarter, as the third quarter historically ushers in more orders for the upcoming Christmas season.

In the fourth quarter last year, the sector’s exports plunged the most due to the global economic meltdown.

“And we believe if things go right—if our exports further grow in the fourth quarter—the industry can post growth this year of between minus 15 percent and minus 20 percent, better than the earlier projection of between minus 20 percent and minus 30 percent,” the SEIPI official said.

He said the solid sales of high-end cell phones, netbooks and computing devices, as well as the recovery of the automotive industries of emerging markets such as China and India will boost orders of semiconductors and electronics goods manufactured here.

Young said between 75 percent and 80 percent of Philippine-made semiconductors and electronics products are shipped to Asian countries.

Also, Young said semiconductors and electronics manufacturing firms operating in the country are rehiring and are resuming normal operations.

He cited for instance that Texas Instruments’ facilities here are “ramping up [production] very fast.”

“Things are back to normal these days, and the demand for workers [in the sector] is strong this moment in time,” he said. — Ben Arnold O. de Vera, Manila Times